I was regimental
duty officer on December 6th 1941, the day before the Japanese
attacked Pearl Harbor. The next morning the Japs woke up the whole
bombarded the Santa Barbara coast. We were 50 miles inland and we went
into full scale alert. I spent the night on the parade ground, guarding
the area with a light machine gun under a 6X6 truck and without
ammunition. We were told that the ammunition would be issued later.
When I first
reported in to the 508th as a 1st Lieutenant at Camp
Blanding, the 2nd Battalion was commanded by Captain Louis
Mendez. Camp Blanding was built on a swamp.
I remember the
first officers meeting he called, when he handed me a pencil and told me
talk about the pencil for 5 minutes.
On D-DAY 6th
June 1944, I landed in a field and gathered approximately 80 men and then
we met up with Colonel Shanley's group which he had around 120 men on the
outskirts of a town called Picauville.
Colonel Shanley and
Major Shields Warren decided that Picauville was too heavily defended so
they contacted Colonel Lindquist by radio who told them to move to Hill 30
and hold it. Hill 30 was the high ground in the area, and from it they
could control a major road junction and the causeway across the Merderet
On D-DAY, the 200
man force was split into two columns with Colonel Shanley leading the left
column and Major Warren leading the right column. Lt George Miles and I
were to bring up the rear.
On the way to Hill
30, George and I went behind some tree’s to relieve ourselves when a shot
was fired and George was hit in the groin.
A medic checked him
out and said it was too serious a wound to move him, and it might be fatal
if he was moved.
So the medic
injected a shot of morphine into him to ease the pain, and he was left
there with two canteens of water.
After 2 days of
heavy fighting around Hill 30 we recovered Lt George Miles.
George survived the